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Triple Crown Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at horse racing’s Triple Crown. The three races in the Triple Crown are the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.


A horse must win all three races to achieve the Triple Crown.

There have been 13 Triple Crown winners:
– 1919 Sir Barton
– 1930 Gallant Fox
– 1935 Omaha
– 1937 War Admiral
– 1941 Whirlaway
– 1943 Count Fleet
– 1946 Assault
– 1948 Citation
– 1973 Secretariat
– 1977 Seattle Slew
– 1978 Affirmed
– 2015 American Pharoah
– 2018 Justify

Since 1990, there have been nine instances where horses have won the first two of the three legs of the Triple Crown: Silver Charm in 1997, Real Quiet in 1998, Charismatic in 1999, War Emblem in 2002, Funny Cide in 2003, Smarty Jones in 2004, Big Brown in 2008, I’ll Have Another in 2012 and California Chrome in 2014.

Rosie Napravnik, in 2013, became the first female jockey to ride in all three Triple Crown races.

June 6, 2015 – American Pharoah wins the 147th Belmont Stakes and becomes one of only 12 horses to achieve the Triple Crown, and the first since 1978. Victor Espinoza is the oldest, and first Latino jockey, to win the most prestigious accomplishment in horse racing.

June 9, 2018 – Justify, ridden by Mike Smith, wins the 150th Belmont Stakes. Justify becomes the 13th horse to achieve the Triple Crown. Justify is the first undefeated horse to complete the Triple Crown since 1977.

Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is traditionally run the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Derby is 1.25 miles in length.

The age limit for horses in the Derby is 3 years.

The winner is given a blanket of roses, so the race is also known as the “run for the roses.”

1875 – The Kentucky Derby is established.

May 1, 2021 – Medina Spirit wins the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby. The 3-year-old brown colt was trained by the legendary Bob Baffert, who becomes the winningest trainer in the history of the Derby with his seventh victory. Just over a week later, Baffert reveals the horse has tested positive for elevated levels of betamethasone, throwing the horse’s victory into question. On February 21, 2022, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission announces that Medina Spirit’s victory has been disqualified and that Baffert is receiving a suspension and fine. Churchill Downs announces second-place finisher Mandaloun is recognized as the winner.

May 7, 2022 – Rich Strike wins the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby. The horse entered the race at 80-1 odds – the biggest long-shot in the 20-horse field.

Preakness Stakes

The Preakness is traditionally run the third Saturday in May at Pimlico in Baltimore.

The Preakness is 1 and 3/16 miles in length.

The winner is covered by a blanket of black-eyed Susans.

May 27, 1873 – The first Preakness Stakes is run.

1890-1909 – The Preakness is run at Gravesend Track in Brooklyn, New York.

October 3, 2020 – The 145th running of the Preakness Stakes takes place without spectators. Swiss Skydiver wins the race. The race was originally scheduled for May 16, but postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

May 21, 2022 – Early Voting, ridden by jockey José Ortiz, wins the 147th running of the Preakness Stakes.

Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes is generally run on the first or second Saturday in June at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

The longest of the three triple crown races at 1.5 miles; often referred to as the “Test of the Champion.”

Secretariat set a world record at the race that still stands for the mile and a half distance on a dirt track at 2:24.

The winner of the race is given a blanket made of between 300-400 white carnations, the traditional flower of the Belmont Stakes.

The Belmont Stakes is the oldest of the Triple Crown events.

June 19, 1867 – The first Belmont Stakes takes place at Jerome Park in the Bronx, New York.

June 20, 2020 – The 152nd Belmont Stakes takes place without spectators in attendance and as the first leg of the Triple Crown for the first time in history. Tiz the Law, with jockey Manny Franco, wins.

June 11, 2022 – Mo Donegal, trained by Toldd Pletcher and ridden by jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., wins the 154th running of the Belmont Stakes.

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